A Final Thought

So this is my last post as "Minneapolis Mommy In London." Stay tuned for my new name and slant, it's a work in progress but I'm getting there. Sooooo......I thought that spending a year living in London, arguably the capital of the world, would somehow leave me feeling "let down" when I moved home. Perhaps a bit, you know, wanting for more. Missing all that urbanism, history, energy, beauty, entertainment, and diversity.

I'm blissfully reporting that I thought wrong. I am seeing my home through a new, more experienced lens. A lens that recognizes amazing things when it sees it, and let me tell you Minneapolis is full of them. I feel a bit like a tourist in my own home, and have a deeper appreciation for what my city has to offer me and my family. I am rejuvenated for life here. So well, well, well. That year abroad did my spirit some good.

(However, I'm secretly harboring a huge crush on New York City. But no worries moms & dads! We're not heading there anytime soon. Maybe a small little retirement flat is in our future . . . . )

Minneapolis Mommy Back Home

For a week now I've been back in the land of tumble dryers, large dishwashers, Target, bagels and, most importantly, soft toilet paper and my dearest people. It has been a whirlwind week of unpacking, getting over some nasty virus, making phone calls, welcoming visitors, a night out with the girls and an extended stay from my parents. Our home feels as though it has sighed and embraced us. All good. Very good, in fact. Only one negative, which is that my husband is already back in London for work. Three months of some back and forth for him have begun. We will persevere. And now on to my next dilemma. What on earth am I going to call my blog???

Flying Home

written July 29th My current altitude is 37,966 feet and the outside air temperature is -65 F. I am somewhere between Greenland and Canada traveling at 850 km/hour. I have traveled somewhere around 2300 miles from London. Next to me are my three boys, two of them watching Sponge Bob on the airline video-on-demand contraption, and the the third working on his laptop. We are finally on our way home.

I feel good, but somewhat like a wrung-out dish rag. Yesterday and the day prior were full of emotional farewells, suitcase packing and this morning we said goodbye out loud to all our favorite sights along the way in the taxi. Elliot & Quinton are troopers, as always, despite Elliot's crankiness caused by motion sickness meds (but I guess he's not barfing!). We hopefully have nine checked pieces of luggage below us in the belly of the airplane. We will arrive a little ahead of schedule, and about five hours past the boys' bedtime. Should be interesting, as always.

Tonight.....my own bed.

Farewell London

Today we took one last romp in central London. The weather was sunny and 81 degrees, so one must take advantage of that in this city! We quickly threw on clothes and took the boys to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park. It has a lovely Peter Pan theme, with a big wooden pirate ship and all sorts of other enchanted spaces. We fortunately beat most of the crowd and the worst of the heat. After a ride on the carousel we hiked through the park to catch the #9 bus.

On the top we rode, enjoying the sights and getting off at Trafalgar Square, where the boys said a final goodbye to the enormous lions that "guard" it. A walk to Covent Garden took us to our favorite lunch spot - Belgo Central. Four pots of steamed mussels, frites for all and three ice creams later we left stuffed silly. A bit of shopping and busker-watching in the Covent Garden Market completed our trip, and the Picadilly tube line took us home again, happy and exhausted.

It was a grand day. I think we all feel quite full and content with our British experience this year. So farewell London.......until we meet again. Thank you for letting us eavesdrop, spy and pretend you were ours for a year. And for those of you who loved and welcomed us, we hope to always be your favorite yanks.

Going, going, gone.

Diana Memorial Fountain The boxes, "Craiget" and Bridget all left this morning. My stomach sort of hurts. The flat is a bit like a wasteland, the boys are really stressed out and tired, and I have to say that watching 15 boxes of our favorite things, even though they are just things, go off on a big truck to find a ship to cross the ocean was a bit nerve wracking.

Fortunately the events of the morning are sandwiched between a lovely night out last night with Craig & Bridget (dinner & another showing of Wicked - just as good the 2nd time!) and an upcoming birthday party at the park for Xain today. Hopefully the space and fresh air will help all three of us burn off some of our anxiety.

I am so ready to come home and begin the next chapter of life. These last days of organizing our departure, while quite necessary, are a bit agonizing. But nothing some big hugs from our loved ones and a few nights back in our own beds can't cure, I'm sure.